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October 10, 2019
Two questions this week from Short Coats! Listener Luis wrote in to ask what books co-hosts Hillary O'Brien, Kylie Miller, Emma Barr and newbie Sahaana Arumugam consulted to find their paths. And Mia wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com to find out more about MS/DO or MS/MD programs and what they look for in their applicants. And can we find patient-care uses for weird proverbs? No, we can't. But it was fun to try. This Week in Medical News. This week Dave learned about "The Husband Stitch" much to his disgust. North Dakota physicians no longer have to lie to their patients about drug-induced abortions; and long-ignored African DNA is finding its way into gene banks courtesy of a Nigerian health tech startup. We Want to Hear From You. What's going on in your world? We like stories, so call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or send your questions or comments to theshortcoats@gmail.com!
October 3, 2019
Fourth-year students David Rudolph and Chandini Reddy join co-hosts Brendan George and LJ Agistonelli to answer listener Krista's question--a self-confessed "loud mouth" with radical hopes about how she'd like to practice medicine one day. Can she bring those ideals to life, or will she be drummed out of medicine. And is it even practical for her to consider this career given her age and background? We've got you, Krista! Plus, Dave asks David and Chandini what they learned from watching their Medical Student Performance Evaluation take shape before it gets sent off to residency programs they're applying to. This Week in Medical News: Weill Cornell joins the list of schools offering med school for free (to some). Napping is good for you, up to a point. And skeletons aren't just scary during Halloween--they seem to be part of the fight-or-flight response in a rather big way. We Want to Hear From You: so, how are you? Tell us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
September 26, 2019
A cliche, of course, but true. Because without the nurses (and other people) doing their jobs to help the doctor, the doctor can't do nuthin'--no IVs, no regular BP checks, no comfortable patients, no monitoring while they're home sleeping, no nothing. Listener Amber stops by to ask what med students learn about nurses and how to work with them, and of course M4s Hillary O'Brien and Kylie Miller and new M1 co-hosts Jessica De Haan and Greta Becker are happy to help. And Fifi Trixiebell returns, craving med school war stories. Also, Hillary and Kylie discuss the residency personal statements they wrote and where they sought help. Do you have war stories to share? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime to tell us. We'll play them for Fifi (and whoever else is listening).
September 19, 2019
Co-host and MD/PhD student Miranda Schene is a woman who has obviously been raised well. So when her mother, Ginny, wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com asking about the surprises med school had in store for this week's gang, Dave--who also loves his mother--couldn't very well say no! M1 Nathan Spitz and M2 Jenna Mullins, along with new co-host M1 Bryn Myers join in to give Mama Ginny the deets. Plus Dave asks if his co-hosts can find and supply doctors' testimonials for some As-Seen-On-TV products. This Week in Medical News: The plight of a Colorado prisoner sheds more light on the abysmal healthcare incarcerated mothers-to-be get. And some interesting case studies show why it might not be a good idea to keep roosters in your backyard if you have varicose veins; and what a diet of chips, fries, and sausages can do to your eyes. We Want to Hear From You! What are your favorite case studies? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Dave can't get enough!
September 12, 2019
Some of the most important contributions to knowledge have come at a terrible price. The BBC featured a story on their site about an anatomy atlas that was created by a Nazi doctor, and the images within are those of hundreds of dissected political prisoners. The very conditions in Hitler's concentration camps may have been among the reasons why these illustrations are so detailed. It is a terrible piece of work. This book, now out of print for decades, is still on the shelves of surgeons and consulted (if rather furtively) when they run out of other options. But we have to ask--can its vast utility outweigh it's evil origins? Short Coats, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Plus the gang visits Yahoo! Answers to practice their patient-communication skills, sort of. Pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson and Purdue Pharma were both in the news recently as opioid manufacturers who will be paying millions for their roles in the opioid epidemic. And a study suggests intermittent fasting (a religious practice but also a diet fad) may be effective at limiting inflammation for rheumatoid arthritis patients.
September 5, 2019
Elders are not just sickly adults. Ours is an aging society, and as the populations skews older, medicine has begun to realize that treating elder patients isn't the same as treating adults or children. Treating the conditions of older people means that clinicians have to understand them in ways that go beyond diseases and drugs. Hence, the science of geriatrics. Dr. Louise Aronson is a geriatrician and the author of Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life (Bloomsbury 2019). It's a beautifully written book the focuses on the stories of our elders and what they can teach us about their needs both biological and psychological. Among the things co-hosts Miranda Schene, Emma Barr, Mason LaMarche and Nick Lind learned: Older people respond in unpredictable ways to medications. Often the work of a geriatrician is to 'deprescribe' medicines that are hurting them. Never undervalue the things that are important to elders just because they aren't medicines or procedures. If the patient needs something from their doctor that increases their success in life, then it's important. Recognizing when you as a doctor are doing things for you, vs. when you're doing things for your patient is important. Older people are no longer beyond help simply due to age. With the right training and an in-depth understanding of the science of aging, huge gains can be made in treating the serious disorders of elderhood. American medicine's concept of "the Good Death" (aka, dying at home surrounded by loved ones) isn't a given for elders. Understanding what elders want, rather than subscribing to some monolithic idea, is important. We Want to Hear From You: Are you considering geriatrics, and why? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
August 29, 2019
The first step in med school Ceremonies are important.  If you’re like Dave, you think they’re a bit of a pain–you have to dress up and keep a straight face.  But as a bit of (lengthy) symbolism, they do have their place, and the White Coat Ceremony is no exception.  Maddie Mix and Aline Sandouk reflect on their White Coat Ceremonies and what it meant to them to be standing up in front of those they admired, respected, and loved, and promised to essentially selflessly give their lives to medicine in return for admiration, respect, and love of their own. Of course, since Aline got kicked out of Cedar Rapids’ Paramount Theater for using her cell phone by a very angry usher, I guess that respect and love she can expect from others will only go so far.  It makes a good story, though, and was totally offset by a bit of feedback she got from a listener.  Remember–you can send questions or feedback to theshortcoats@gmail.com!  We love it! Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time! This Week in Medical News Another month, another new organ no one’s EVER noticed before.  Ebola gets a new, very promising treatment.  And the ongoing reproducibility crisis in research gets another look, this time from a study in the BMJ that looks at authors’ use of “spin.” We Want to Hear From You As we begin the next admissions cycle, we offer free advice!  How can we help? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime,  or email 
August 22, 2019
Brandon Bacalzo and Angeline Vanle join the team as incoming medical students. Luckily for them they have the chance to put questions about med school to M2 Nick Lind and M3 Brady Campbell, including how to find the new study habits they'll need to succeed. Ethical objections to a controversial practice in medical education have been simmering for a while, so we discuss how medical students should prepare for potential dilemmas that may occur during their training. And Dave is snared by clickbait yet again--because who wouldn't want to know more about how tickling elders could keep them young? And are there other kinds of stimulation we should study to cure disease? Artificial intelligence is always fun, so we try out an app that measures your stress level, pulse, and (one-day) your blood pressure just by looking at your face. We Want to Hear From You: What are (were) you thinking about when you started medical school? Did your hopes and fears pan out? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
August 15, 2019
For those who have been out of the student game for a while, or who feel they need a little extra time to get acclimated to the fast pace of medical education, there are programs like our Intro to Medical Education at Iowa. Whatever an individual school calls it, these programs can act as a bridge between your life before med school to the rigours of learning medicine. On this episode that Dave forgot to release a while back because he went on vacation, we meet pre-M1s in our program, Nicole Lacina, Timothy Morris, and Alec James. They and their teaching assistant, regular co-host Jacob Chrestensen are here to have some fun and describe what it's like to crack the firehose with this program instead of taking it full in the face. Plus, Dave's unreasonable susceptibility to clickbait leads him to make up a new game. Can the co-hosts get him to click on their article with their crazy headlines? Yes. Yes, they can. We Want to Hear From You: Are you starting med school this fall? What did you do to prepare yourself? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
August 8, 2019
When listener Caven wrote in asking why CCOM graduates don't include hardly any specialists and why they all seemed to be going into primary care, Dave was puzzled. While it's true that a state school like ours, serving a rural part of the country, emphasizes primary care, he knew that not 'everyone' goes into primary care. On further questioning, it turns out Caven's info came from the Medical School Application Requirements (MSAR) tool on the AAMC website! What was going on? Dave sought help from his friends in Admissions, and it turns out that MSAR doesn't tell the whole story...and aspiring med students have to dig deeper. Also, Dave asks his co-hosts Matt Wilson and Tony Mai, both rising M4s, to give their advice for those starting clinical rotations. And they help Aline Sandouk and LJ Agostinelli answer some of Yahoo! Answers most probing health questions. This Week in Medical News, there's good news in med school diversity--the number of students underrepresented in medicine is on the rise. A paper in Nature Microbiology says the authors have found an easy and economic way to convert A and B red blood cells to type O cells, the universal donor type. And a study in JAMA notes that patients of surgeons who behave unprofessionally around their colleagues have more complications. Plus, cell phone horns are probably not a thing.
August 3, 2019
Our charitable mission is supported in this episode by CommonBond.co/scp. Be sure to pay them a visit to learn more about their new medical school loan, and tell 'em we sent you! Admissions counselor Megan Kosovski joins the fun to help LJ Agostinelli, Aline Sandouk, and new co-host Armin Avdic answer some listener questions. Claire, for instance, wants to know if she needs to quit her job as a radiation tech to fulfill pre-med requirements like shadowing and volunteering. And Elizabeth wants to know what colleges typically do when personal difficulties arise between one's peers and mentors. Plus, Dave satisfies his pretensions to be a medical educator by giving the crew a pop quiz. Can they discern which strange research project is the actual strange research project and not one Dave made up? The AAMC offers insight into a 'new' trend in medical education: the three-year fast-track MD degree program. It's been tried before in times of shortages...is the time right to roll it out again to address physician shortages and high student debt? The Short Coats offer free advice! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com! We'll try to help!
July 25, 2019
Continuing our recent discussion on the price of healthcare in the United States, on this episode we talk with Dr. Martin Makary. Dr. Makary is a surgeon at Johns Hopkins, a best-selling author, and a health policy expert. Dr. Makary's latest book entitled The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care--and How to Fix It, is due out in September. We were so glad to talk with him, because it's all-too-easy to be jaded about the 'business' of healthcare when one in five Americans are in collections over healthcare debt. But Dr. Makary combines outrage at the market forces that have created a used-car-lot sales environment with optimism about healthcare's future prospects for transparency and fairness. Things are changing, he says! Interestingly, the medical students doing research with him--pouring their hearts, souls, and minds into it--have helped to create that sense of optimism in him. In other words, millennials may be saving American healthcare even as they're killing the napkin and real estate industries. On top of all that, while The Price We Pay is an indictment of the insurance and billing practices that hinder the work of doctors and the healing of patients, the book is also a guidebook to the things that can and are being done to restore medicine's mission.
July 18, 2019
We're devoting this episode to the perils of love between med students and their non-medical partners. Despite the clickbait title (don't hate the player, hate the game), it isn't destined to end badly! It just takes lots and lots of patience, communication, and sacrifice, not to mention a plan. Kelsey Adler, Madeline Slater, Terry Hayes, and new co-host Chris Schanbacher--all married or in committed relationships with people who aren't medical learners--are ready to offer an anonymous listener advice on keeping love alive with her soon-to-be med student. Plus, we talk about how med students socialize, how "their persons" can join in some of the more fun bits, and what changes significant others can expect to change about their relationships. To cap off their hard-earned words of wisdom, Dave decided to see how close his co-hosts and their "persons" really are, with a bit of fun we're calling The NewlyMed Game. Will each couples' answers to Dave's questions agree? Will their loving relationships dissolve in acrimony when they disagree? That's a chance Dave's willing to take! Are you dating a medical student? What advice do you have for others? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
July 11, 2019
Dan Weissmann is a former NPR journalist who was interested in the crazy world of healthcare costs in America. He'd suggested to his former bosses that he start covering people's stories of dealing with their medical care and it's often unpredictably wallet-sucking expenses, reasoning that the subject is one we all can relate to. Plus, he though, it's a damn important topic with political, economic, and personal implications. Unfortunately, it wasn't the story he'd been employed to tell, so he back-burnered the idea. Until one day he decided to leave radio and strike out on his own. As Dan put it to co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Laura Quast, and Dr. John Pienta, suddenly that story was very personal. After all, he didn't have health insurance through an employer anymore, and he found it difficult to even make a decision on what insurance to buy since that industry (and its collaborators in healthcare) makes choosing intentionally difficult by not supplying information we usually rely on to make purchasing choices. So he started his new job, one he created for himself, a podcast he named An Arm and a Leg. Now in its second season, the show explores the topsy-turvy world of paying for health, using the stories of real people. Those people are incredibly easy to find, too, because they are our friends, neighbors, relatives, acquaintances, strangers, men, women, children...all of us are victims. If we want to fix it, Dan's here to say that our best hope is listen to and understand these stories, because we're all in this mess together. This week, president Donald Trump signed an executive order that would require insurance companies, hospitals, and doctors to give patients more info about the prices they'll pay for healthcare...but some say he have consulted with Danish cement manufacturers? And Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders uses a puzzling figure to support his signature campaign issue of "Medicare-for-all"...a figure that Politifact and Kaiser Health News isn't so positive about. What stories have you heard about the damage caused by spiraling and opaque healthcare costs? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
July 4, 2019
The news that students at Oregon Health and Science University will now be subject to 'compassion tests' in order to graduate got Dave thinking about test anxiety. As schools pile on the examinations, how do students deal with the stress? Dabin Choi, Gabe Conley, Claire Casteneda, and Erik Kneller discuss meditation, sleep, prayer, and eating habits that keep them from letting the fear derail them.
June 27, 2019
When listener Caven wrote in asking why CCOM graduates don't include hardly any specialists and why they all seemed to be going into primary care, Dave was puzzled. While it's true that a state school like ours, serving a rural part of the country, emphasizes primary care, he knew that not 'everyone' goes into primary care. On further questioning, it turns out Caven's info came from the Medical School Application Requirements (MSAR) tool on the AAMC website! What was going on? Dave sought help from his friends in Admissions, and it turns out that MSAR doesn't tell the whole story...and aspiring med students have to dig deeper. Also, Dave asks his co-hosts Matt Wilson and Tony Mai, both rising M4s, to give their advice for those starting clinical rotations. And they help Aline Sandouk and LJ Agostinelli answer some of Yahoo! Answers most probing health questions. This Week in Medical News, there's good news in med school diversity--the number of students underrepresented in medicine is on the rise. A paper in Nature Microbiology says the authors have found an easy and economic way to convert A and B red blood cells to type O cells, the universal donor type. And a study in JAMA notes that patients of surgeons who behave unprofessionally around their colleagues have more complications. Plus, cell phone horns are probably not a thing.
June 20, 2019
The thing about conspiracies that's hard to combat is that there is sometimes a kernel of truth in them that makes them more believable. Dave found some unfortunate 'facts' about medicine and doctors on a random website , and asked Miranda Schene, Kyle Kinder, Nick Lind, and Dr. John Pienta not to refute them, but to discuss the little nugget of truthiness they're based on. Warning: in the end, we didn't bother to refute them--we figured y'all are learned enough to know why they're truthy-but-not-true! Let us know if we're wrong about that! And Dave asks his co-hosts if they can find the true research title among the truthy garbage titles he made up. Friend of the show Dr. Yolanda Villalvazo found out that Veterans Administration Hospitals have been experimenting with a program for a few years that allows patients to tell their providers what they should know about their lives. And Dave rants about the state of the research poster...but one man thinks he has a solution for those afflicted by the poster session blues. We Want to Hear From You: A new class of MD students is getting ready to begin at med schools all over the country. What questions do you have about med school? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
June 13, 2019
Cultural competency is a tough thing to teach, but so important. Today's physician (and med students!) encounter patients from wide range of backgrounds, any of which could come into play in a patient-provider interaction. In this episode, Brent asks how med students learn about the nuances that come with treating people of different backgrounds, from ethnicity to gender to religion to disability. Aline Sandouk and Brady Campbell consider the question and offer their experiences. And Brady, who's co-hosting on the eve of leaving CCOM for a year-long Masters in Public Health program at Hopkins, talks about why he's pursuing a whole 'nother degree and why he's decided Hopkins is the right place for that given that we have a lovely Public Health school right next door. A New Jersey pastor and a British clairvoyant are under investigation for promoting the use of 'miracle mineral solution' as a cure for malaria in Uganda. The WHO has removed 'gender identity disorder' from the International Classification of Disease. And with Viagra's patent set to expire, what's on the horizon for ED treatment? Don't worry, we make plenty of jokes about that, as if you had any doubt. We Want to Hear From You: What are your questions for The Short Coats? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
June 6, 2019
Dr. Marley Doyle is a reproductive psychiatrist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She's also "legally blind", with 20/400 vision. She struggled through medical school just like all med students, but with that additional complication. She made it, however, and her discussion with Aditi Patel and Irisa Mahaparn gives some clues as to why. First, her disability was invisible which made it easy for people to assume that she wasn't disabled. And second, she was naive to the fact that she could ask for help. In other words, she stumbled through it all and came out the other side without having been a "burden" for her school. Years later, she acknowledges that she could have asked for more help. We also discuss the technical standards that most schools have in place to define what a student physician should be able to do physically, intellectually, and emotionally to succeed in school. These standards, however, often seem to be written with a stereotypical disabled person in mind, one who cannot possible succeed because of their disability, and thus should not be in medical school. We discuss the concept of "assumed competence" which, as recent CCOM guest lecturer Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami pointed out, allows people with disabilities to show they are able to fulfill their duties as opposed to assuming they cannot. And we discuss the AAMC's recent first-of-its-kind report "Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians With Disabilities," which brought to light the inconsistent policies and procedures for, lack of support of, and lack of awareness many schools have of their legal obligations under the law towards students with disabilities. And we talk about why med schools that don't encourage disabled people to apply are missing out on a piece of the diversity puzzle. Plus, Dr. Doyle helps answer a listener who is lucky enough to have several med school acceptances, and wants to know how to decide among them! Lucky you, 'Anxious Premed!' Don't worry, we can help. Are you living with a disability and discouraged about your med school plans? Are you in medical school, disabled, and have some advice to offer? Tell us about it by calling 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
May 30, 2019
We’re clearing out the backlog of listener questions–thank you listeners for so many fun ideas to talk about! Cailin had her med school dreams ‘crushed’ in college when the science prereqs turned out to be too intense. She’s now considering an MPH, but she hasn’t entirely given up on becoming an MD. Aline Sandouk, Irisa Mahaparn, Levi Endelman, and Dr. John Pienta are on board to say it’s not really a problem, Cailin…as long as you can be realistic about the timeline. And Melvin Piebags (not his real name) sent in a series of questions: how do we cope with failure? Is anatomy lab a grim place to be? How do we cope with difficult patients and colleagues? We're answering them all on this episode. Do you like our answers? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
May 23, 2019
Admissions counselor Megan Kosovski joins Aline Sandouk, Emma Barr, Nick Lind, and Hannah Van Ert for this show, because we had a listener question from a Canadian listener not-named "Molson." What it's like, Molson wanted to know, for a Canadian to apply to medical school in the US, which he's considering doing since Canadian schools are so few and the odds are so low. Molson, pull the tab on that brewski and we'll get you sorted. As Executive Producer Jason Lewis is leaving us for greener pastures, Dave is preparing to take part in interviewing his replacement. Which means that he's gotta rev up his BS detector so he can help select the right person. With that in mind, can his co-hosts detect the BS or truth found within the often ridiculous claims found Snopes.com? A tragic incident of a trans man losing his baby after a series of errors and confusion related to his gender is detailed in a case study. Yet another reason for the US graduate medical education system to change how it treats residents might be found in their shrinking telomeres. And the risks to OB/Gyn training that recent abortion bills in Alabama and elsewhere are posing (WARNING: politics and conspiracy theories ahead!).. We Want to Hear From You--How do you feel about the recent anti-abortion bills? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
May 16, 2019
[Once again, our charitable mission is supported in this episode by CommonBond. Thank you, CommonBond!!!] Former listener Cash commented on Facebook that he doesn't listen any more because of our political comments. So on today's show, Aline Sandouk, Rob Humble, Irisa Mahaparn, and Admissions Counselor Kate McKenzie help Dave process Cash's feedback. Should medical students, physicians, and scientists express themselves on political issues or should they remain publicly neutral? Moreover, with medicine and science having become among the hottest topics in politics, is there an actual obligation to take a stand? This Week in Medical News: A recent study of volunteers who had their genes sequenced, proteins mapped, biome surveyed, and blood and cheek swabs analyzed intensively found that the dream of "personalized" medicine may just be within reach...but at what cost? Coca Cola is accused of including undisclosed kill clauses in its nutrition research agreements in case don't like the results. And another study confirms that which women of color have three times the risk of dying during pregnancy and after compared to white women! How can we help you on your med school journey? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
May 9, 2019
Our charitable mission is supported in this episode by CommonBond. Be sure to pay them a visit to learn more about their new medical school loan, and tell 'em we sent you! Emma Barr, Miranda Schene, Allison Klimesh, and new co-host Jenna Mullins are all first-years at the Carver College of Medicine. As our co-hosts this time, they're happy to help answer listener questions! For instance, Tim wrote to us asking about the disadvantaged applicant designation on the med school application, saying he's hesitant to apply it to himself though on paper he might fit that description. And Mike wrote in to clarify some things about three-year MD degree programs, but he's also wondering if he might be a good fit for an accelerated path. This week in medical news, actor Maureen McCormick claps back at anti-vaxxers who are using an episode of the 1960s sitcom The Brady Bunch, which she starred in as Marcia Brady, to support their argument that measles is not that big of a deal. Which got Dave thinking about the medical dramas of his youth (and beyond), specifically their theme songs. Can his co-hosts Name Those Med Tunes? We Want to Hear From You: What was your favorite medical drama and why? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
May 2, 2019
Our charitable mission is supported in this episode by CommonBond.co/scp. Be sure to pay them a visit to learn more about their new medical school loan, and tell 'em we sent you! Admissions counselor Megan Kosovski joins the fun to help LJ Agostinelli, Aline Sandouk, and new co-host Armin Avdic answer some listener questions. Claire, for instance, wants to know if she needs to quit her job as a radiation tech to fulfill pre-med requirements like shadowing and volunteering. And Elizabeth wants to know what colleges typically do when personal difficulties arise between one's peers and mentors. Plus, Dave satisfies his pretensions to be a medical educator by giving the crew a pop quiz. Can they discern which strange research project is the actual strange research project and not one Dave made up? The AAMC offers insight into a 'new' trend in medical education: the three-year fast-track MD degree program. It's been tried before in times of shortages...is the time right to roll it out again to address physician shortages and high student debt? The Short Coats offer free advice! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com! We'll try to help!
April 25, 2019
Saie Joshi is a first-year med student at Baylor, but that's not all she is. She's got a beautiful singing voice and a busy schedule advising med school hopefuls from her tight-knit Indian-American community. And, of course, as she's an up-and-coming podcaster we were excited to have her on as a guest co-host. Aline Sandouk, Issac Schwantes, and Rob Humble spoke with Saie about her show Brown Girl White Coat, and about ZdoggMD's recent reflection on moral injury among physicians and healthcare providers. Fittingly, we had a question from listener Jesse about his path forward after a bad first semester lead to a low graduating GPA. Luckily Saie was on hand to help. Scientists at Yale have found a way to partially re-start the brains of pigs hours after they were slaughtered, causing ethicists to clutch their inhalers. The Feds rounded up more than 60 people including doctors and pharmacists in Appalachia charging them with opioid offences and fraud. And a cure for bubble boy syndrome using HIV has changed the lives of 10 infants barring unknown future side effects. We Want to Hear From You. Do you have a project you want to tell us about? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. We'll help you spread the word. Merchandise: theshortcoat.com/store.
April 18, 2019
This week, with help from LJ Agostinelli, Irisa Mahaparn, and new co-host Fili Bogdanic, Dave offers listener Karstan some advice for med students (and others) who want to start a podcast. It's a worthwhile activity, without question, for discovering and understanding the field you're growing into, provided you can find the time! Listener Coleman writes in to find out what kind of plan we'd suggest having for visiting medical schools. Dave has ideas...but to his surprise his co-hosts weren't even sure pre-interview visits were necessary! Vive la difference! And we once again plumb the depths of Yahoo! Answers for some real-life medical questions, the excuse Dave always gives for doing this to his co-hosts. To Dave's relief, scientists have found that declines in working memory can be temporarily reversed using non-invasive transcranial alternating-current stimulation, but to his eternal dismay, his co-hosts always...uh, the always...wait, what was I writing about? What would you do to increase your working memory? Let us know that, or anything else by calling 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
April 16, 2019
The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is a sprawling organization, and for good reason. As CEO Karen Goraleski says, it's a big tent. And with all the disciplines needed to fight emerging infectious diseases like Leishmaniasis and other neglected tropical diseases, from veterinary medicine to ecology to entomology to logistics--it's no wonder. With University of Iowa College of Public Health epidemiology student Kurayi Mahachi, this bonus episode explores the job of eliminating the world's most difficult to treat diseases--infectious or otherwise--and why Americans must not shrug it off as someone else's problem but join the fight. Also, premedicine and med students take note: TropMed is the ASTMH's yearly conference, and it sounds very friendly and is a ridiculous bargain for those looking to explore this fascinating, world-saving effort as a career. This November, consider joining them in Maryland, just 10 miles from Washington, DC. We offer free advice! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. We'll answer your questions or find someone who can!
April 11, 2019
We're devoting this episode to the perils of love between med students and their non-medical partners. Despite the clickbait title (don't hate the player, hate the game), it isn't destined to end badly! It just takes lots and lots of patience, communication, and sacrifice, not to mention a plan. Kelsey Adler, Madeline Slater, Terry Hayes, and new co-host Chris Schanbacher--all married or in committed relationships with people who aren't medical learners--are ready to offer an anonymous listener advice on keeping love alive with her soon-to-be med student. Plus, we talk about how med students socialize, how "their persons" can join in some of the more fun bits, and what changes significant others can expect to change about their relationships. To cap off their hard-earned words of wisdom, Dave decided to see how close his co-hosts and their "persons" really are, with a bit of fun we're calling The NewlyMed Game. Will each couples' answers to Dave's questions agree? Will their loving relationships dissolve in acrimony when they disagree? That's a chance Dave's willing to take! Are you dating a medical student? What advice do you have for others? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
April 4, 2019
Dr. Marley Doyle is a reproductive psychiatrist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She's also "legally blind", with 20/400 vision. She struggled through medical school just like all med students, but with that additional complication. She made it, however, and her discussion with Aditi Patel and Irisa Mahaparn gives some clues as to why. First, her disability was invisible which made it easy for people to assume that she wasn't disabled. And second, she was naive to the fact that she could ask for help. In other words, she stumbled through it all and came out the other side without having been a "burden" for her school. Years later, she acknowledges that she could have asked for more help. We also discuss the technical standards that most schools have in place to define what a student physician should be able to do physically, intellectually, and emotionally to succeed in school. These standards, however, often seem to be written with a stereotypical disabled person in mind, one who cannot possible succeed because of their disability, and thus should not be in medical school. We discuss the concept of "assumed competence" which, as recent CCOM guest lecturer Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami pointed out, allows people with disabilities to show they are able to fulfill their duties as opposed to assuming they cannot. And we discuss the AAMC's recent first-of-its-kind report "Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians With Disabilities," which brought to light the inconsistent policies and procedures for, lack of support of, and lack of awareness many schools have of their legal obligations under the law towards students with disabilities. And we talk about why med schools that don't encourage disabled people to apply are missing out on a piece of the diversity puzzle. Plus, Dr. Doyle helps answer a listener who is lucky enough to have several med school acceptances, and wants to know how to decide among them! Lucky you, 'Anxious Premed!' Don't worry, we can help. Are you living with a disability and discouraged about your med school plans? Are you in medical school, disabled, and have some advice to offer? Tell us about it by calling 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
March 28, 2019
If you got only rejection letters this application season, you might be thinking your dreams of attending med school are dead. Well, pick yourself up off the ground, soldier, it's not over yet because you can apply again. But don't go throwing good money and time away by reapplying without taking a close, honest look at what your application was missing. Amy A'Hearn, our admissions assistant director, visited to discuss what you should think about when re-evaluating your competitiveness, with the help of Aline Sandouk and Irisa Mahapan. Don't give up...find out what Amy's top recommendations are, and get your dream back on track! Match Week was great for us here at UI as our students did better than the national average for finding a job after med school. But all was not perfect this year, as during the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP), the servers crashed denying unmatched residency programs and applicants critical time to do the same. In the end, it all worked out...but it was a stressful time for all--but from our viewpoint, especially for SOAPing students! And it isn't the first time, either. Share your stories--anonymously, if you like--of your rejections and how you fixed it! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
March 21, 2019
Think of an inventor. What comes to mind? The quirky lone genius, coming up with a blockbuster device that will save the world? The Avengers' Tony Stark in a cave throwing together a functional exosuit from scrap metal? Back to the Future's Doc Emmet Brown crying "1.21 jigawatts?!" and then immediately coming up with the perfect solution? Or is it a person like neurosurgeon Matthew Howard, toiling away year after year alongside a team of trusted experts, all working together to take an idea--slowly--from problem to concept to prototypes to product to FDA approval to market to patient? Dr. Howard was recently named the University of Iowa's first ever National Academy of Inventors fellow, with 34 patents in his portfolio, so we wanted to take a look at yet another amazing aspect of medicine: the people who define and then create solutions that make the surgical world go 'round. Some of his inventions succeed--including a way to guide catheters to their destinations using magnetic fields--while others --like the "shunt scissors" he discusses--are waiting to set the surgical world on fire. But to Dr. Howard it's just a good time. Also, Dave gives the crew--Aline Sandouk, Miranda Schene, Hannah Van Ert, and Maddie Mix--a pop quiz to see if they can guess the invention from some weird patents. Some of the quiz's incorrect answers could be money makers, so feel free to patent them and make a fortune. We Want to Hear From You. Have you ever had an idea for something and thought, I should patent that? Like that time Dave thought up an ejection seat for motorcyclists? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com and tell us about it.
March 14, 2019
Listener Zachary wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask whether it's useful for students to join medical associations and societies such as the AMA, ACOG, or AAP. Co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Laura Quast, Hillary O'Brien, and newbie Sophie Williams-Perez offer some things they find useful about their memberships, including staying informed about political positions and the latest research in their fields, as well as for understanding what it means to be a physician. Listener Oscar about had a heart attack when he read how much money the Carver College of Medicine thinks a first-semester student should budget for additional expenses (aside from tuition and living expenses). So we asked Financial Aid Counselor Chris Roling to help, and it turns out that this area of the med student budget is real squishy. Plus, Dave has some mouth spreaders to use up, so he makes his co-hosts deliver made-up diagnoses to fictitious patients with them. Because that's educational. A BMJ article got us talking about whether or not doctors should be crying at work. And we revisit everyone's favorite anti-anti-vaccination 18-year-old Ethan Lindenberger--who has famously annoyed his mother by getting his vaccinations just as soon as he legally could--after he testified before the US Senate. Are you a member of a medical society or organization? What do you get out of membership? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. SCP T-shirts are available at theshortcoat.com/store!
March 7, 2019
As CCOM's second-look day (which we call Get Acquainted Day) approaches, Aline Sandouk, LJ Agostinelli, Miranda Schene, and Danial Syed discuss the benefits--to both the student and the school--of taking a second look at the schools they've been admitted to. And listener Caven wants us to talk about our fantasy gap years. Can our co-hosts articulate the benefits of gap year jobs that Dave made up for them? Spoiler--they sure can. UC Berkeley biologists have found a way to genetically engineer brewers yeast so that they pump out dank medicines. Texas Republican state representative Bill Zedler has some pointless thoughts about why vaccines aren't needed in the US. And we discuss what Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers have to offer med students. If you could do anything you want--and you can--what would you do during your gap year? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
February 28, 2019
Here's a question we get often, in one form or another: will [some aspect of my life to date] hurt my chances for getting into medical school? Kyle Kinder, Irisa Mahaparn, Aline Sandouk, and Hanna Van Ert are here to reassure listener Rachel that, despite her background in medical malpractice law, she's going to be fine...if she can articulate what she took away from that part of her life. Listener Fifi Trixiebell, who you may recall set off the keto wars of 2018 which ultimately led Dave to declare a moratorium on diet related topics, wrote in to apologize (no need, Fifi), and also point out that Iowa is the most America of the states. Can the co-hosts discern which other states have achieved total-Murica status based on their rankings for bald eagles, fast food, and astronauts? The Chinese researcher who claimed that he'd genetically engineered two girl infants may have accidentally (or as Dave speculates, purposefully) made them into super-intelligent, super-stroke-recovering humans. And researchers my have discovered an entirely new form of neural communication. We Want to Hear From You. Do you need advice? We give it out, whether it's related to med school or not? Call in your pleas for help to 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
February 21, 2019
Listener Nathan called in to the SCP Hotline at 347-SHORTCT to ask how research works for medical students. Is it necessary? Is it recommended? How do you find research to do? Irisa Mahaparn, Miranda Schene, Emma Barr, and newcomer Nadiah Wabba are on hand to discuss the roles of research in med school, how it can help a residency applications, for which residency applications research is a recommended component, and how it all works. Also, can the crew figure out what has been censored from medical stock photos? To play along, visit the show notes for this episode at theshortcoat.com. Cancer Dogs is a Canadian organization looking to make cancer-smelling dogs a valid screening tool; we discuss whether physicians and med schools discourage med students from pursuing primary care; and as a generation of vaccine deniers' children comes of age, are they going to defy their antivaxxer parents? Is research important to you? Do you plan to do research in med school or residency? Let us know at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
February 18, 2019
Dr. Mamdouh Aker is a very big deal in Palestine, the kind of man everyone knows and respects, and it's easy to see why. He’s urology surgeon and the deputy chair of the Board of Trustees of Berzeit University in Palestine's West Bank. Among the founders of the Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners and the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Dr. Aker was also a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference and in the Palestinian-Israeli bilateral talks between 1991 and 1993. He's also a member of several councils and committees focused on the health, education, and wellbeing of the Palestinian people. During his visit to the Carver College of Medicine he spoke to our students and faculty about the state of Palestinian healthcare. He was generous with his time, as he also sat down with med students Shakoora Sabree, Ossama Habu-Halawa, Jordan Harbaugh-Williams, and Joelle Friezen to discuss the topic. Our discussion was near the anniversary of his 45-day ordeal in the custody of Israeli security forces in the early 1990s because of his outspoken views that his Palestinian patients were prevented from receiving adequate healthcare.
February 14, 2019
[Buy our podcast merch and help eliminate the stigma of mental illness–your purchase goes to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and you get  a cool tee shirt.  Pick yours up today!] Listener Jen sent an email to theshortcoats@gmail.com asking M4 Irisa Mahaparn, and M1s Nick Lind and Madeline Slater about the doubts they’ve experienced in their journey through medical education.  Oh, Jen.  The doubts they have experienced!  We discuss them, along with the sources of doubt and how they are learning to overcome them to achieve their goals.  Also, we try to give listener Ryan some ideas about his genetics course assignment. We also visit the worst place on the internet to get medical advice, Yahoo! Answers, and discover a potential new treatment for desert-based constipation.  All it needs is a good clinical trial and a few not-squeamish human subjects! This Week in Medical News As the measles outbreaks in the northwestern US and elsewhere continue, Clark County in Washington has experienced a jump in vaccination rates of 500%, almost as if people are starting to trust science.  Inventors at MIT and Harvard are both working on swallowable injectors, which sounds worse than it is.  And is Wikipedia good enough for med schools to use it in some way?  It depends, of course. We Want to Hear From You What are your rejection stories? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime,
February 7, 2019
[Purchase an SCP T-shirt to contribute to our Charity of the Semester, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Visit http://theshortcoat.com/store. Thank you!] Listener Renee writes in to ask Aditi Patel, Maddie Mix, Nick Lind, and guest Dr. John Pienta whether she can legitimately hope for admission to an MD/PhD program without a strong science background. Luckily, Maddie rolls MSTP style, so she helps us answer. Another listener, Sarah, wrote to us hoping for some suggestions on how to prepare and strategize for her physician shadowing experiences. And Ellen writes to give us some feedback on a recent episode. Plus, Dave's Pop Quiz on undeniably dangerous drinking games--inspired by a case study involving Dutch men, booze, MDMA, and a drinking game of fish swallowing which no one should ever play--is suspiciously easy for his co-hosts. Want to skip med school and go straight to treating patients in your very own pre-fab hospital room? Well you mustn't do that...but with this product on Amazon, you could. Contribute your ideas to the show! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
January 31, 2019
This week, we're winging it on SCP--life was a bit more complicated for Dave than usual--but we have some great questions to address from some non-US listeners. Nice to have confirmation that we have more than a couple of those! Luke from Australia wants to come to America, either to study medicine or after his Australian medical education is complete. Which should he choose, and what will he think of our Australian accents after he listens? And Justin, listening in the Philippines, wants to know what story our co-hosts tell themselves when they think about why they're studying medicine. Justin Hababag, Aditi Patel, and Kylie Miller are on hand to discuss. What story do you tell yourself about your interest in medicine? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
January 24, 2019
But what's this? Podcast merch? Dave has a special announcement, what we're going to use the money for (it's *not* for the show or to line Dave's pockets), and how you can get a special offer and help do some good at the same time. Everybody knows about med school tuition. And then there's the cost of student loans. But there's so much more, and listener Richard wrote in to theshortcoats@gmail.com ask: what are the hidden costs of attending medical school? Luckily Dave has a crew of people on hand who've figured that out: Aline Sandouk, Nick Lind, Maddie Mix, and LJ Agostinelli. Get prepared with their list of things you need to spend money on, and a couple things you shouldn't spend on. Another listener, Sarah, would like some idea of what kinds of extracurricular activities med students can get into, and how to find them. We got you, Sarah! And after pondering what the point is of the case study in medical literature (aside from amusing Dave to no end), the crew takes a pop quiz on weird cases found on the internet. The Gates Foundation may be throwing it's considerable weight and funding behind reducing maternal deaths in the US. What hidden costs of medical school did we miss? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
January 17, 2019
When thinking about a career in medicine, those who are leaning towards getting an MD often consider the Physician Assistant path; and if they're leaning towards a PA career they often consider the Medical Doctor path. On this show, PA students Steffanie Robertus and Terry Hayes join MD students Emma Barr and Katie Christel explore the similarities between their educational journeys, the exams they'll take, the career paths, and the lifestyles they'll enjoy. Then, Dave pits the two teams against each other in a fight to the death. Or was it a trivia contest? Have you ever wondered if "defecation postural modification devices" (i.e., those potty stools recommended by unicorns to help you poop) really work? So do gastroenterologists and their friends. Cancer rates have dropped a whole bunch in the last few decades. And a Chinese researcher who edited the genomes of twin baby girls is either in danger of being put to death or is doing just fine thank you. Love or hate the Squatty Potty? Need advice? Have questions? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Tell us all about it.
January 10, 2019
Former co-host and now PM&R Doctor Cole Cheney returns for a discussion of what he's discovered about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which rewards careers in public service by forgiving student loans after 10 years of qualifying work. The first 11 years have passed since its inception, and you'll never guess how many people have had their loans forgiven. Aline Sandouk, Dylan Todd, Brady Campbell, and financial aid counselor Chris Roling were on hand for a discussion of why you'll want to have a backup plan to pay off your med school debt. A study looks at whether we're ready for whole genome sequencing as a screening tool for newborn babies. We discuss whether teenagers are capable of withstanding the rigors of medical school. And an we explore the 'confidence gap' between men and women in medicine and whether it's even important. Are you a woman who has been counselled to lean in and act more confident? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. We'd love to hear from you!
January 3, 2019
Happy New Year! With the holidays slowing down the pace of listener questions, Dave asks new co-host LJ Agostinelli and old hands Rob Humble and Hillary O'Brien to discuss the harsh truths and pleasant realities of studying medicine. Plus, Yahoo! Answers gets another visit, and manages to live up to Dave's characterization of it as the saddest place on the internet. Scientists make themselves chuckle while proving a point about the gold standard of research, the randomized controlled trial, by elaborately studying whether parachutes save lives. Expensive drugs eek out a win over cheap exercise in treating high blood pressure, causing doctors and patients everywhere to cry, "Meh." And in the battle to curb the ever-increasing national sleep debt, Dave gets a weighted blanket for Christmas.
December 27, 2018
Madeline called to ask: it's finals week and you're stricken with seasonal depression--what's a med student to do? We feel you, Madeline. Luckily, Aline Sandouk, Nick Lind, Derek Bradley, and Hillary O'Brien are ready to throw open the curtains on their ideas to help. And Jeannet-tello hit us up on our Instagram to find out what she should do about impostor syndrome. Dave shares the recent video that UIHC Marketing and Communications unwisely allowed him to be in. Healthcare providers, if you want to take the Surgeon General's advice and save people from dying of opioid overdoses, you might kiss your ability to get health insurance goodbye. And a Tennessee physician starts off his new job as a US Representative by promising--for no reason at all--to dig up the dirt the CDC has been hiding about vaccines and autism. Thank goodness, we're all saved. Are you nervous about starting med school? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Share your fears!
December 20, 2018
Aline Sandouk discusses with her co-hosts the recent breakthrough in her research--which is pretty much that she's experiencing the exact opposite of what PhD students fear, and that her research may just have a path forward. Whew! And while we couldn't answer any listener questions this week--hang in there, Madeline and Tiana, you're on the list!--we did answer anatomy questions asked with dental mouth spreaders in our mouths. Warning: this episode contains more than the usual amount saliva-based sounds. Plus, Kylie Miller explains to Aline, Madeline Slater, and Nick Lund that she is a compulsive licker. This Week in Medical News: A DNA study determines that stethoscopes are gross. More doubts expressed at the validity of research in light that many top docs aren't disclosing conflicts of interest in their publications. And docs (plus Dave) are learning that women might actually need uteruses for more than housing and then expelling babies. Are you a compulsive licker? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
December 13, 2018
Are you buying what med student Instagrammers are selling? You've probably noticed them. Cute med students hawking makeup and study guides on Instagram, posting photos of their fav study beverage, and composing carefully arranged shots of the contents of their backpacks, #medstudentlife #sponsored. Well, who can blame them--med school's expensive! But is it a slippery slope, just waiting for some unsuspecting student to lose their ethical footing? Short Coats Sam Palmer, Miranda Schene and newbies Allie Fillman and Allison Klimesh take a look. Funny thing: that stuff you learned about mitochondria? Wrong. And with the news that there are now real live genetically engineered babies in the world--thanks to a Chinese scientist with his own ethical problems--we wonder why it was even necessary, what the dangers are to the family who 'benefited,' and just where the heck is this young mad scientist, now, anyway? Would you be a med student influencer if you could? Why, and what limits would you set? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
December 6, 2018
Short Coats Rob Humble and Claire Castaneda are joined by new co-hosts Mitchell Hooyer and Jeremy Sanchez to talk about their personal experiences as members of the LGBT community while studying medicine. They highlight Iowa's surprisingly inclusive nature--among other things, Iowa was only the third state to legalize same-sex marriage. And they discuss the interesting origin of CCOM's student group EqualMeds, as well as how LGBT topics are covered in med school curricula. We also answer the question: why is it even necessary to include specific discussion of these groups given that all people are the same on a cellular level? Plus, we answer a listener question from Nikki: is it easy to make friends in medical school if you're an introvert? What have you experienced as an LGBT student or seen as an LGBT ally? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
November 29, 2018
This past week, the Carver College of Medicine hosted its 12th annual Examined Life Conference. Our featured presenter, journalist and memoirist Sarah Smarsh, grew up in a family of farmers and teen mothers in Kansas. Her family, laborers trapped in a cycle of poverty, made the kinds of choices that poor people must make in rural America--whether to eat or seek medical attention, for instance. Decades of inattention--and scorn--from politicians and the media have widened this class divide, and have sent the inexorable message that their voices don't matter. Ms. Smarsh's recent book, Heartland: A Memoir of working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, tells the tales of her family's struggles with poverty, addiction, workplace injuries, and family violence that many economic and political elites don't have the background or will to truly understand. Though Ms. Smarsh has managed to escape that cycle, she has retained her citizenship in--and love for--that largely unexplored country, and offers a deep look at what it's like to be poor in the wealthiest and most powerful society on the planet. Our executive producer Jason T. Lewis, Rob Humble, Gabe Conley, Teneme Konne, and Christopher Portero Paff talk with Ms. Smarsh about what the working poor are facing, how our willful lack of understanding shapes our perceptions of their struggles, and why it's crucial that medicine encourages and welcomes them as providers.
November 22, 2018
The MD isn't the only degree offered by many medical schools. For those who get excited about data, research, and advancing medical knowledge, you can add a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Of course, there are those who get their PhD separately from their Medicinae Doctor. Others get their PhDs from combined degree programs, including Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTP). Aline Sandouk and Jayden Bowen took on the topic with a number of first-year MSTP students--why is an MD/PhD something you should consider? Join them and Ossama Abu-Halawa, Hassan Ahamed, Akansha Jain, Madi Mix, Nate Mullin, Miranda Schene, Hannah Van Ert, and Qi Wang as they reveal reasons you might want to consider this sort of combined degrees and the types of programs to choose from. What questions do you have about MSTP or MD/PhD programs? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
November 15, 2018
[We’re now available on Spotify and RadioPublic!] Co-hosts Tim Maxwell, Aline Sandouk, Annie Rempel, and Mackenzie Walhof confront pictures of their younger selves and offer themselves the advice they should have gotten at the start of their med school journeys. Listener Darius asks us for the best options to progress from his current work as an EMT-B/paramedic to medical school–among our suggestions is to check out the AAMC’s list of post-baccalaureate programs, including Iowa State University’s excellent but reasonably-priced option.  Dave offers up his own Recipe for Med School Success–a concoction he’s pretty sure no-one has ever thought of, but which his skeptical co-hosts end up enjoying–and promises an e-book with them all!  Submit yours to be part of it and get it free! Annie also tells us about her recent arts-and-medicine exhibit at The Examined Life Conference, called Snapshots.  A follow-up to her Stanford Honors in the Arts show, it’s a series of drawings and interviews offering “realistic glimpses into the inspirational life stories of those affected by Huntington’s Disease.” We Want to Hear From You What’s your favorite weird snack?
November 8, 2018
As medical science progresses, it not only answers questions but generates even more. Listener Tyler pointed out a study (now on hold) that proposes to withhold the current standard of care for victims of penetrating trauma to try something else, and he wondered what we thought of the ethics involved. Co-hosts Nick Lind, Kyle Kinder, Madeline Slater, and Justin Hababag are here to help unwind these and other questions. For instance, we explore how far medicine has come in its quest for answers by looking to the past, and what does My Pillow (as-seen-on-tv) have to do with the opioid crisis? Puzzled, we explore the possibilities for how as-seen-on-tv products could help with other public health efforts. Could the Comfort Wipe wipe out ebola? We visit with (a) President Donald Trump (soundboard) to find out. We still don't know how a pillow can help with opioid addiction, but perhaps we're seeing the first glimmers of a turn-around in this particular public health crisis. What are favorite as-seen-on-tv products, and have you used any to eliminate a public health issue? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
November 1, 2018
This past week, the Carver College of Medicine hosted its 12th annual Examined Life Conference. Our featured presenter, journalist and memoirist Sarah Smarsh, grew up in a family of farmers and teen mothers in Kansas. Her family, laborers trapped in a cycle of poverty, made the kinds of choices that poor people must make in rural America--whether to eat or seek medical attention, for instance. Decades of inattention--and scorn--from politicians and the media have widened this class divide, and have sent the inexorable message that their voices don't matter. Ms. Smarsh's recent book, Heartland: A Memoir of working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, tells the tales of her family's struggles with poverty, addiction, workplace injuries, and family violence that many economic and political elites don't have the background or will to truly understand. Though Ms. Smarsh has managed to escape that cycle, she has retained her citizenship in--and love for--that largely unexplored country, and offers a deep look at what it's like to be poor in the wealthiest and most powerful society on the planet. Our executive producer Jason T. Lewis, Rob Humble, Gabe Conley, Teneme Konne, and Christopher Portero Paff talk with Ms. Smarsh about what the working poor are facing, how our willful lack of understanding shapes our perceptions of their struggles, and why it's crucial that medicine encourages and welcomes them as providers.
October 26, 2018
Our newest co-host has already had a taste of fame. Abby Fyfe joins the crew this time, along with Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, and Aditi Patel. Turns out, Abby is an old hand at being internet famous, because she was once run over by a bus. True story. She has since regained her 3-dimensional shape, but did she mine that experience for her med school applications? But first, listener Tyler wants to know: is your undergrad institution's reputation an important factor for med school admissions committees? And we got some feedback from Alex, an actual registered dietician, and Blake responds to a recent question from Courtney about raising kids during med school. Later, Jayden quizzes us: can we guess what these genes do based on their very geeky names?In light of recent scandals in research and retractions of studies, an article in Molecular Cell proposes a Hippocratic Oath for scientists. And there's a new opioid possibly coming to market that is 500 times more powerful than morphine. What experiences did you mine for your med school application? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
October 18, 2018
Jennifer Andersen, a sociology PhD student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, teaches a course called Sociology of Health and Health Care. She reached out to us to propose that her students would send in questions for us as an extra credit assignment, which was a great idea we jumped on because it meant Dave would barely have to prepare for this show...I mean, it'd be a great education opportunity for her students' young, fertile minds. Ahem. Aaanyhow, her students really stepped up with some great questions for Aline Sandouk, Aditi Patel, and new co-hosts Kelsey Anderson and Jacob Chrestenson. So come along with us as we dive into questions like, "have you ever had to do something in med school that wasn't ethical," "is it better to come to medical school with an open mind about your eventual career," and "what's it like working with different attendings all the time?" They've got answers to all these queries and a lot more. What do you want us to talk about on a future show? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
October 11, 2018
We love listener feedback...even when it's negative. And this whole obesity thing is really great for generating negative listener feedback. For instance, Marlene thought our comments on nutrition were mostly wrong. And Laura didn't seem happy with what we thought was our neutral stance on keto, either, as she's having some success with it...although a lack of carbs looks just as bad as a bunch of carbs. We could ride this obesity gravy train all the way...but Dave is le tired. Fortunately for our egos, a while back we managed to give some good advice to Victoria on interviewing , who called back to give Irisa Mahaparn, Aline Sandouk, and newbs Justin Hababag and Annee Rempel some GREAT news! Go, Victoria! This Week in Medical News: are you ready to share your brains with other people? Are you ready to drink your own urine? Are you ready to not choose a medical school based on it's ranking in US News & World Reports? We think hard about those important questions. We Want to Hear From You. Have we stepped on your sacred cow? Are you happy with our advice? Have we done anything useful today? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
October 9, 2018
The MD isn't the only degree offered by many medical schools. For those who get excited about data, research, and advancing medical knowledge, you can add a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Of course, there are those who get their PhD separately from their Medicinae Doctor. Others get their PhDs from combined degree programs, including Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTP). Aline Sandouk and Jayden Bowen took on the topic with a number of first-year MSTP students--why is an MD/PhD something you should consider? Join them and Ossama Abu-Halawa, Hassan Ahamed, Akansha Jain, Madi Mix, Nate Mullin, Miranda Schene, Hannah Van Ert, and Qi Wang as they reveal reasons you might want to consider this sort of combined degrees and the types of programs to choose from. What questions do you have about MSTP or MD/PhD programs? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
October 4, 2018
This week, listener Jen sent us an article from JAMA in which the author bemoans his tendency to let the electronic health record (coupled with his data-entry difficulties) dominate his attention at the expense of his ability to really see and empathize with his patients. The cost: missing clues that indicate a patient's progressive decline and family dynamics that contribute to the condition. Meanwhile, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend find themselves chewing on sleeping pill side effects, causing us to wonder--why is Ambien still on the market, unless it's to create really great slam poetry? And we practice our teamwork in a mobile game called SpaceTeam, proving perhaps that not all such games make for good podcast fodder--you decide, but don't @ us, we already know the answer. Will we see a shift in the standard of care for appendicitis, now that a Finnish study has backed up the mounting evidence that it can often successfully without surgery? And a study on the high costs of poor healthcare around the world suggests that fixing it will cost 6% of the cost of doing nothing. Do you have suggestions for what we should talk about on SCP? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Pick your favorite!
October 2, 2018
In most of India, palliative care--a medical specialty focused on improving the quality of life of people with life-limiting or disabling diseases--is available to only 1% of people who need it. But in Kerala, one organization is making lots of headway in promoting this vital specialty. In this episode, Pallium India's founder, chairman, and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. MR Rajagopal visited the University of Iowa College of Medicine to talk about their efforts to introduce to Indian providers a new way of thinking about pain and other symptoms by providing emotional, social and spiritual support. As you might expect from such a practitioner, Dr. Rajagopal is an extraordinarily thoughtful man with a kind, quiet voice that belies what must be an extraordinary force of will needed to accomplish his goals. Tony Rosenberg, Ellie Ginn, Rachel Schenkel, and Jayden Bowen discussed how he began his journey, what his fellow Indian providers made of these ideas, and what his hopes are for the future of palliative medicine around the world. Do you or anyone in your family have experience with palliative care? Tell us about it at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. We'd love to hear from you!
September 27, 2018
Fifi Trixiebell (not her real name) wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com asking us to discuss what medical students learn about nutrition, and whether they think the keto diet is just another fad. Luckily, Madeline Slater, Emma Barr, Kyle Kinder, and newbie Sam Palmer--M1s all--just had a unit on nutrition so that's an easy one. But Fifi Trixiebell had written in before, a message which--despite his policy of answering every listener question--Dave had passed over. Why did he ignore it? He's not sure; it was a while back, but it may have triggered him. We also discuss an article from HuffPo about the "unique and persistent trauma" doctors visit upon their obese patients. Plus, with the announcement of the 2018 Ig Nobel Prizes, we cover the weird winners in medicine; and Dave puts his co-hosts to the test on their knowledge of past winners. Sure, when a person is stressed out, the cortisol and adrenaline circulating in the blood mediate the body's responses, but what about mitochondrial DNA? Have you ever heard from a perfect stranger how to fix your life? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
September 20, 2018
Listener Hannah wrote in after shadowing physicians, noting that many of the morbidly obese patients she observed resisted their doctors' advice to lose weight. Is there any hope that doctors can treat this intractable illness when patients don't "want" to do the work? Aline Sandouk, Claire Casteneda, Ali Hassan and Kylie Miller offer their views and what they've learned so far about treating this difficult disease. Also, in Dave's constant quest to 'contribute' to his co-hosts clinical skills, we visit the saddest place on the Internet, Yahoo! Answers, so they can practice their patient education techniques. Congratulations, Sperm Donor #2757! You're the father of 45 girls and boys between the ages of 1 to 21 years old, and your generosity has made things very weird! And we discuss yet another questionable beauty practice, the vampire facial, which OH COME ON NOW, HOW CAN THIS BE REAL? What are your views on the obesity epidemic...is it hopeless? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
September 13, 2018
Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Aditi Patel, and newbie Madeline Slater are on hand to answer listener questions, such as J's query about the utility of post-bacc programs for med school applicants, and Chelsea's question about the use of primary literature in medical school curricula. We also discuss how membership in Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society boosts residency applicants' competitiveness, and what some schools are doing to ensure they don't leave out minorities underrepresented in medicine. Plus, have you considered acquiring a medicine bag of polished stones from everyone's favorite MD, Gwyneth Paltrow? With the news that her company GOOP has settled a lawsuit in several states alleging some of their products make questionable health claims, we explore some of the items promoted at their recent convention. Hospitals are tired of shortages of vital medicines, so some are banding together to make them by forming their own non-profit drug company. Do you know anyone who uses GOOP products? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
September 6, 2018
Activia (not her actual name, though it probably should be. Feel free to take that name, anonymous caller) emailed us at theshorcoats@gmail.com to ask whether she should retake her physics classes (which she took while coping with other unfortunate life-related stuff) or concentrate on getting great grades in other courses. In addition, she wanted to know if admissions committees REALLY take into account extenuating circumstances? Well, you're in luck, Activia! We've got answers from non-traditional first-year students Kyle Kinder, Nick Lind, and Emma Barr; and our friendly admissions staff Dan and Amy chime in, too. We also play a game of Psych! while Dave tries to use their performance to make judgements about their personalities. Can he do it? No he can't, though he notes with concern Kyle's suspicious ideas about male anatomical structures and function. Too late, Admissions, you said yes! Facebook has become known as a place where you can find any number of suspicious ideas, but it seems ready to judge so-called alternative health pages as unworthy of its platform. And we discuss an article that argues the MCAT should no longer be used because of a legal concept called "disparate impact." Have you just started medical school? What's been the best and worst parts of your new life? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
September 2, 2018
On today's show, we'll answer a question from listener Victoria about having a feeding tube during med school interviews--should she worry that it will make her look weak and infirm, and thus not a good applicant for med school? Aline Sandouk, Mark Moubarek, Jayden Bowen, Marissa Evers and Gabe Conley tell her why she should OWN it by not being the first to mention it! Go Victoria! Meanwhile, Mark discusses what he did to overcome his sadness in the past year after his wife moved to pursue her own medical education in California, and what he's learned by adopting his new unconventional lifestyle. Go Mark! A CNN story about an alleged "medical kidnapping" of an 18-year-old brain aneurysm patient shocked many, but it turns out the story wasn't as simple as the article made it appear. And reaction to New York University's plan to make tuition absolutely free to all medical students forever took the med ed world by storm...but some aren't buying that it will have the ostensible consequences of lowering the barrier for underrepresented minorities and encouraging more to go into primary care. Did NYU's announcement move it higher on your list of schools to apply to? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
August 23, 2018
Our visit with pre-health students in the Carver College of Medicine's Summer Health Professions Education Program continues as co-host Teneme Konne talks with SHPEPers Asjah Coleman, Kirsten Grismer, Ahone Koge and Margaret Mungai. Before the show, Teneme also visited with two of Iowa City's homeless population, and gained some insight into their lives as well as the reasons they are living on the streets. Plus, we play a game of Mafia, SCP style. Will the hospital administrator, the attending, or the resident escape death? And who is the mystery disease that threatens them all? Dun, dun, duuuunnnn. Also, we discuss LGBTQ+ health disparities, and a review of the evidence that criminalizing drug use has negative effects on efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and other illnesses. Were you lucky enough to take advantage of a SHPEP program, or are you looking forward to participating in the future? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
August 16, 2018
The day-to-day of internship, residency, and an MD career doesn't allow much time to process the effect it's having on the practitioner. Rushing from one patient to the next, putting out the fires even while drinking from the firehose, and being selfless in service to the patients' needs means that one's own stories are buried, neglected. More and more, however, medicine is acknowledging the need for practitioners to examine and tell their stories so that they can learn from them, teach their lessons to others, and show colleagues that they are not alone. In 2015 Dr. Emily Silverman was in her second year of her internal medicine residency at UCSF. She found herself with a little more time following her frenetic intern year, and with her own stories that had gone untold and unexamined. She started to write, first in a blog she called The Nocturnists. Then, in 2016 she organized the first live storytelling session with her colleagues. Now, in 2018, those live sessions--held in theaters with fun music and a bar-- are playing to sellout crowds. Not only do the shows allow for catharsis, but for community. And because Dr. Silverman isn't ready to allow The University of Iowa to be a satellite venue (and believe us, we asked), we're grateful that The Nocturnists is also a podcast! Each episode feature a piece from the live show, followed by a relaxed, thoughtful discussion between Dr. Silverman and the storyteller. Her email to Dave earlier this spring to tell The Short Coats about The Nocturnists was a wonderful break from the usual pitches for Caribbean med schools and Ivy League pay-to-play programs; and it gave Kylie Miller, Brendan George, Marisa Evers, and Sanjeeva Weerasinghe a great opportunity to discuss what it is The Nocturnists are thinking about.
August 9, 2018
The Summer Health Professions Education Program, SHPEP, has become a summer tradition at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Students from around the country participate in SHPEP’s goal: "to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in the health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools." Iowa program's SHPEPers Hailey Phillips, Hiancha Pinho, and Meranda Pham join co-host Teneme Konne to discuss the program, what it accomplishes for them, and how mentorship -- examples of success in healthcare -- are crucial for those who are underrepresented in medicine. Are you underrepresented in medicine? Who is your mentor? What barriers have you faced and/or overcome? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
August 2, 2018
Executive Producer Jason has kindly let Dave go on vacation, so Aline Sandouk takes over the hot seat, with Irisa Mahaparn, Hillary O'Brien, Elizabeth Shirazi, and Jayden Bowen. Together they unravel the mysteries of the human body and med school. For instance, why do med students feel guilty about having to take time off to deal with their bed bug infestations? And what would having many normal or two overly large testicles do to fertility? Such brilliant questions!!! Does Amazon's Jeff Bezos have Toxoplasmosis? Our lawyers say definitely not, but toxo does have a link with risky behaviors, and business people can win big by taking risks. So, naturally, a new study looks at how likely students with toxo are to be business majors. Also, the mental health consequences of sucking up to your boss, and one woman's warning that her child's Hot Cheetos habit led to her losing her gallbladder. So, what's up with you? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
July 26, 2018
While Dave and the crew try a recipe from the Med School Success Cookbook, they consider listener Imari's question: how much did co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Eric Schnieders, Gabe Conley, and Irisa Mahaparn think about finances when choosing a medical school? While it's important to know what your financial standing will be when you graduate, including your loans and how they're affected by scholarships and living situation, we think there are more important things to think about. And Maggie has noticed many med schools have co-ed fraternities and wants our thoughts on their benefits for students. Happy to help explore this interesting and fun possibility for lowering costs, sharing responsibilities, and joining a new med school fam, Maggie! Now that the Large Hadron Collider has finished tearing a hole in the universe, researchers are using the technology in its subatomic particle detectors to create 3D color x-rays. And CRISPR-Cas9 has proved to be an excellent tool for editing genomes...and also tearing them up and spitting them back out with all kinds of errors and random deletions. Do you belong to a med school fraternity? What's it like? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
July 19, 2018
'tis the season to be applying to medical school. Which is why we got so many listener questions to address on this episode (thank you!) Listener Magnus wanted suggestions for how to prepare for MMI and regular admissions interviews, so we invited our resident experts, Amy A'Hearn (from CCOM med student admissions) and Tom O'Shea (from CCOM physician assistant admissions, for his experience with MMI interviews) to help out. They, along with Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Marc Moubarek and new co-host Shakoora Sabree, also answered questions from listeners Cameron and Sarah about whether opening up about personal/political views and sexual orientation is okay on applications and in interviews. And listener Jake wanted to know how med students learn to cope with death. Do you have something to add to the discussion, or a question we can answer? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com!
July 12, 2018
Listener Amari returns to ask Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Tony Rosenberg, and Mark Moubarek--what do they think of med school YouTubers? Is it advisable to broadcast your life during med school in an age when everything you do online has a permanent risk associated with it? Of course, there are some recommendations for residency program directors in searching social media for candidates' info. Next up, Jordan is looking for advice on great pre-med activities that will teach him as well as look great on his application. And Richard is both shy and working in a lab, and he's worried that it will be difficult for him to make connections with doctors for things like shadowing. Have you ever regretted your social media footprint professionally? What pre-med activities would you recommend to Jordan? How can Richard break out of his shell? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
July 5, 2018
Listener Hanna wrote in to ask an important question: is it better to apply this year despite possibly ending up in the second tier of applicants due to a late MCAT score, or should she just wait until next year? Good question, Hannah! Aline Sandouk, Irisa Mahaparn, Tony Rosenberg, and admissions counselor Dan Schnall (in absentia) have the answer. Another listener, Amari (and we hope we've spelled that right), phoned in to the Short Coats Hotline to find out if there is a medical school equivalent to the infamous Freshman 15 many undergrads suffer through, and if so, what she could do about it when she starts her journey in medical education. Med students aren't, in general, known for being good liars; they tend to be a pretty ethical bunch. But perhaps they suspend their morality enough to fool each other with lies about their time in medical school. We'll see about that, as they play Two Truths and a Lie. Researchers discover what might be a vaccine to treat diabetes...and it's already in use around the world, though not in the US. And the US Supreme Court 's decision to uphold the most recent version of Trump's travel ban won't hurt patients seeking medical attention at all, unless they need a geriatrician, nephrologist, cardiologist, internist, critical care specialist, nurse, medical technician...hmm, that seems like rather a lot. We're still giving away keyfobs if you post a review somewhere and send a screenshot to theshortcoats@gmail.com, and we've begun collecting recipes for our future Recipes for Med School Success cookbook. Do you need advice? Do you have questions about medical school? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
June 28, 2018
How can you brag about yourself without bragging about yourself? We are taught from a young age (most of us, anyway) not to brag. It is better, we may sometimes be told, to show confidence. Listener Rachel wrote in with a question about the secondary application: how does one confidently talk themselves up without coming across as a braggart? Lucky for Rachel, we have Daniel Schnall from our Admissions staff, on hand to help Mark Moubarek, Kylie Miller, Aline Sandouk, and Gabe Conley with some great advice about how to sell yourself on your application and also back it up. Don't want to look like a chump? Dan has your answer, Rachel. Plus, Kylie wants to feed the (med student) world, and the group plays Doctor Forehead. Do you know the terms and concepts Dave found in the news last week, and why they were even being talked about? Meanwhile, everyone knows ortho residents don't get enough exercise. Skinny, pale, weak, they're practically collapsing under the weight of their own skin. Which is why we're relieved that someone took pity and created a peer reviewed(?) workout routine for them, using common materials found around the ortho workroom. Get swole! Is the NIH doing it's job of funding innovative research and fostering research careers? Doesn't sound like it. And the AMA goes all in on a call to ban the American Dream sale and ownership of assault weapons. Are you a gun owner who feels like the AMA goes to far? Do you want advice and don't want to pay for it? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. We'll talk about it.
June 21, 2018
We love when listeners get in touch, which is why Dave was glad to hear from Adil who, after listening to our discussion of the new national Right-To-Try legislation, sent us a paper he wrote on the subject the year before. It really helped clear some things up that we weren't sure of. Like the fact that it doesn't actually do anything to help patients get faster access to experimental drugs, has a kind of informed consent problem, allows patients to further conflate research with therapy, and more. And with thousands of new medical students poised to matriculate this fall, Dave and co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Kylie Miller, and Amy Hanson try out a new awkward icebreaker activity to see if it has some utility for new student orientations. The Trump administration walks back their recent decision to claw back money earmarked for fighting epidemics around the world. Back home, St. Louis University opens an influenza hotel. And the function of REM sleep finally revealed...maybe.
June 14, 2018
Steve Sosebee is the president and CEO of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. He’s married to Dr. Zeena Salman, a pediatric oncologist working with the PCRF. For 25 years, PCRF has been leading medical missions to help children in the Middle East, helping children get medical treatment abroad, and delivering humanitarian aid. Their recent visit to the Carver College of Medicine gave Short Coats Reem Khodor, Ethan Craig, and Nico Dimenstein a chance to sit down with them to discuss the challenges and realities of working to provide healthcare within the confines of an occupied territory.
June 7, 2018
Listener Meghan is about to start med school in the fall, and is thinking about what sort of regular habits medical students like Aline Sandouk, Tony Rosenberg, and new co-host Jayden Bowen use to keep them on track. Not only do we look at some routines they use (and debate whether they're even helpful), but we also have a suggested routine for the new student. And Dave, who's begun writing dean's letters (or 'Medical Student Performance Evaluations') for students who will be looking for jobs this year, has some sobering news for his co-hosts: they are, themselves, already writing them. Dave thinks most first-year medical students have never heard of this important document, nor do they know what will be in it...and how it could help or hinder their efforts to land that plum residency. Dermatologists are less accurate in diagnosing melanomas than the stupidest artificial intelligence...but don't cancel your derm dreams yet. Meanwhile, patients get the 'right to try' from the Trump administration...but is almost completely bypassing the slow FDA approval process a good idea, or will the bad actors in medicine end up lining their pockets on the hopes of their desperately ill patients? What are your med school routines? Did your school read you in on the MSPE when you started? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Take your pick!
May 31, 2018
Irisa Mahaparn, Tony Rosenberg, Aline Sandouk, and Rachel Schenkel--a crew of rising M3s and an MD/PhD candidate--were on hand this time to help answer some listener questions. Arman writes in to give us his method for combating test anxiety, and Jen wants to know what med students learn about physicians' bias against obese patients. Plus, our Short Coat Podcast keyfob giveaway is still kicking--listen to find out how to get one of your very own for free. But first, Irisa has strong feels about her local community supported agriculture subscription, so she made us some snacks. Most of them were delicious. One of them was...well, surprising is a word for that one, given Dave's reaction. Dave learned this week about one company that says cockroach milk is a superfood. Do you want free advice from people who've been there? Leave a message at 347-SHORTCT, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com!
May 24, 2018
Listener Amanda is like many medical students--anxious and worried. In her case, she wonders if she won't be as prepared for med school as her classmates when she starts in the fall, because they are "ahead" of her due to their experience and former careers. We've got you, Amanda: Aline Sandouk, Hillary O'brien, Erik Kneller, and Sanjeeva Weerasinghe are here to help. Also, which of our hosts are on team Yannie or Laurel? It doesn't matter, because Dave did some sophisticated analysis and discovered something about the morphing audio clip that has the internet arguing again. The netflix series 13 Reasons Why returns for season 2 today as we record this, and Netflix has announced it's response to mental health professionals' concerns with the content. Speaking of mental illness, Blue Cross Blue Shield has released a new study that says diagnoses of major depression are on the rise. A portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the unwitting donor of the amazing HeLa cell line used for just about every kind of study of every kind of disease these days, is hung in the National Portrait Gallery. Do you have a question we can help answer? Do you need advice? We're giving away answers for free (along with SCP key fobs)! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
May 17, 2018
Our Short Coat Podcast keyfob giveaway is still happening! Post the show somewhere on the internet where pre-med and med students hang out, and email a screenshot to theshortcoats@gmail.com, and we'll send you one with our thanks! Our own Claire Castaneda won first place in the Carver College of Medicine's Carol A. Bowman Creative Writing Contest for Medical Students, and her piece caught Dave's eyes and heart. She talks with Aline Sandouk, Melissa Chan, and Tony Rosenberg about the dynamics of family strife and the pressure they can exert to follow one career path over another. Meanwhile, Aline expresses her feelings on being left behind by her original classmates as she continues her MD/PhD studies. And considering that most doctors still don't (and mostly, can't) know much about how medical marijuana should be prescribed, Dave subjects his co-hosts to a pop quiz. NYU Langone Medical School lost two of their community to suicide in one week, in the ongoing tragedy of physician and student suicide. What Maryland doctors could face as the bar for juries to decide medical malpractice is lowered. Is Iowa's US Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, trying to pressure Supreme Court judges to retire in order to one day secure a Roe v. Wade busting win for pro-life conservatives? Ebola is back, just in time for the Trump administration to dissolve the office responsible for preparing for pandemics.
May 10, 2018
Oh, gosh. It's Kaci McCleary and Amy Young's last show as co-hosts. Irisa Mahaparn and Teneme Konne join them to discuss their impending moves to Colorado and Minnesota. Also, they lament Iowa's new Fetal Heartbeat Bill and what some observers believe will be an associated collapse of OB/Gyn in Iowa should the law go into effect. But life goes on, and Amy--a relatively new parent--talks parenting fails. Luckily for her little Sammy, Dave has her beat. And listener Corey reaches out on Facebook to tell Dave he's wrong. Shocker. Plus, you can get a free SCP keychain/backpack-flair/shot glass-coaster made by Dave...listen to find out how. Meanwhile, Indiana is recommending that it's citizens get vaccinations before traveling to...Kentucky and Michigan? Trump's old doctor finally admits that his former patient really did dictate his note that praised the then-candidate's health. And the Golden State Killer is nabbed by a DNA ancestry website. If you're a future OB, are you concerned about or celebrating Iowa Republicans' strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
May 3, 2018
The day-to-day of internship, residency, and an MD career doesn't allow much time to process the effect it's having on the practitioner. Rushing from one patient to the next, putting out the fires even while drinking from the firehose, and being selfless in service to the patients' needs means that one's own stories are buried, neglected. More and more, however, medicine is acknowledging the need for practitioners to examine and tell their stories so that they can learn from them, teach their lessons to others, and show colleagues that they are not alone. In 2015 Dr. Emily Silverman was in her second year of her internal medicine residency at UCSF. She found herself with a little more time following her frenetic intern year, and with her own stories that had gone untold and unexamined. She started to write, first in a blog she called The Nocturnists. Then, in 2016 she organized the first live storytelling session with her colleagues. Now, in 2018, those live sessions--held in theaters with fun music and a bar-- are playing to sellout crowds. Not only do the shows allow for catharsis, but for community. And because Dr. Silverman isn't ready to allow The University of Iowa to be a satellite venue (and believe us, we asked), we're grateful that The Nocturnists is also a podcast! Each episode feature a piece from the live show, followed by a relaxed, thoughtful discussion between Dr. Silverman and the storyteller. Her email to Dave earlier this spring to tell The Short Coats about The Nocturnists was a wonderful break from the usual pitches for Caribbean med schools and Ivy League pay-to-play programs; and it gave Kylie Miller, Brendan George, Marisa Evers, and Sanjeeva Weerasinghe a great opportunity to discuss what it is The Nocturnists are thinking about.
April 26, 2018
Remembering a recent episode in which we spoke briefly of colored test tubes, Adee writes in with a question for Hilary O'Brien, Erik Kneller, Mackenzie Walhof, and Rob Humble--what, if anything, do medical students learn about laboratory science? And we got a lot of feedback on our recent discussion of unwanted sexual attention from patients, all of it pretty good! Which is nice...thank you, listeners! We also see if the co-hosts have the skillz needed to translate patients' chief complaints into...well, something that resembles a chief complaint.
April 19, 2018
Listener Zipadee Doodah (not her actual name) was the victim of unwanted sexual attention from a patient. Because her employer didn't have a policy in place to deal with it, she fought for one. But she wonders, what sort of training do medical students get on dealing with unwanted advances from patients? Kaci McCleary, Erik Kneller, Eric Schnieders, and newbie co-host Cheryl Wang offer their perspectives. Plus we consider a clever approach from a restauranteur who was surprised to learn that her efforts to create a welcoming, inclusive place of business had a harassment problem of its own. How she dealt with it might be a model for medicine. We also heard from Yanis, who's got an MBA/MA and is applying to medical school. But he's worried a lack of science-types to write letters of recommendation letters might hurt his chances. Finally, Paulius responded to our recent episode on test anxiety--specifically, Dave's painful ice cube technique--with a more gentle technique of his own.
April 12, 2018
Short Coat Podcast veteran Keenan Laraway, MD (CCOM '15, Internal Medicine), returns to the microphone to give his insights into one of the most important parts of residency--finding and being a mentor.
April 5, 2018
The news that students at Oregon Health and Science University will now be subject to 'compassion tests' in order to graduate got Dave thinking about test anxiety. As schools pile on the examinations, how do students deal with the stress? Dabin Choi, Gabe Conley, Claire Casteneda, and Erik Kneller discuss meditation, sleep, prayer, and eating habits that keep them from letting the fear derail them.
March 29, 2018
Listener Lavender BloodPoison (not their real name) sent us a message saying they were impressed by CCOM's Primary Care residency match statistics. And while many schools that serve states like ours do love primary care, "there are lies, damn lies, and statistics," as the saying goes. How should one interpret match statistics in light of the fact that many who appear to match in primary care will go on to specialize after their first year residency?
March 22, 2018
Listener Luis wrote in expressing his anxiety that his med school--which he'll begin attending this fall--doesn't have the prestige or programs to support his desire for a competitive specialty like ophthalmology. If that's the case, he wondered, what can he do to increase his chances of obtaining his dream career?
March 16, 2018
Lauren wrote in to ask us to what extent her love life should play a role in her selection of a medical school, and how we thought med school challenges relationships. Gabe Conely, Joyce Wahba, Claire Casteneda, and new host Brendan George discussed their perspective on how med school can affect romantic relationships, and what role it should play in the selection of a school to attend. And, after reading an article about how blind people use echolocation--and that they were better at it even than previously thought--Dave thought up an experiment to test his co-hosts. A stupid experiment, but he's a podcast host not a doctor. The opioid epidemic isn't going anywhere...and it's getting worse despite the hand wringing done around the country about how to arrest it. And 23andMe has the green light from the FDA to test customers for BRCA mutations. Do you know anyone who echolocates? That's something we all want to hear more about! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
March 8, 2018
Listener Mo wrote to us at theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask us if a lack of interest in dealing with the foibles of patients--with their anti-vaccine beliefs, their non-compliance with treatment, and reliance on the latest internet fads--means he should reconsider his med school dreams. Lucky for Mo, Kaci McCleary, Irisa Mahaparn, and newbs Melissa Chan and Dabin Choi were on hand to propose some paths forward for non-empathetic med school applicants, as well as outlining some of the less obvious areas empathy comes in handy they might want to think about. There isn't a lot of wiggle room in this area...but there's a little, and maybe Mo can squeeze into those cracks and come out with an MD on the other side. Is the ubiquity of IV saline an example of institutional inertia? And in response to this article, the gang explores the institutional and systemic barriers that AMCAS and some schools' admissions committees have erected against disadvantaged students. Are you a disadvantaged applicant worried about your grades, money, and connections? Tell us your story at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
March 1, 2018
One of the things we Short Coats agree on is that the stigma medical students and physicians face when dealing with mental illness must end. We are people, too, and thus are subject to the full range of human maladies. So when listener Kate reached out to theshortcoats@gmail.com to tell us of her University of Michigan classmate Rahael Gupta's JAMA article addressing her own struggles, we could only respond with sympathy and admiration. Turns out, however, that the Google autocomplete hive-mind isn't terribly sympathetic to MDs, med students, pre-meds, or nurses. That's what we learned playing a game of Google Feud. Do you want to throw away your #nofilter lifestyle...completely? Then jump on the trend and ask your plastic surgeon to make you look like your favorite Snapchat filter. More news on the fight against influenza comes as a Japanese company has crafted a drug that eliminates the virus in just 24 hours. Do you need advice? Do you want us to talk about something near and dear to your heart? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
February 22, 2018
Dave found himself with another group of women co-hosting the show, so what better time to talk about #MeToo and the powerful people being taken down by their sexual harassment and abuse of others. Erin Pazaski, HIllary O'Brien, Laura Quast, and Liza Mann weigh in on why this seems to have staying power in the news cycle, and why it seems to destroy some powerful men and not others. Plus, since this is a group of friends who, through med school, have come to know each other well, Dave challenges each to answer questions as their friends would. Speaking of creepy, The University of Miami has a problem on its hands with a medical student who's been posting other students' social media pics of their car selfies and beach photos on websites where other folks are excited by such things. A New Hampshire doc loses her license after refusing to use an EHR because she'd rather practice 'medical art' (among other things). And more medical schools want to hear from premeds what they think about health insurance. Your thoughts and comments are important to us! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
February 15, 2018
On our last show, we fielded a question from Courtney who wants to go to med school but is worried about being a mom and a med student. We got one dad's perspective then, and now it's time for mom. Dr. Maya Lopez (CCOM MD '04) was another non-trad entering school with a supportive husband and a few bundles of joy. She told Eric Schnieders, Tucker Dangremond, and Sanjeeva Weerasinghe how she dove headlong into med school, how she and her husband (along with a village) made parenting and med school work for them. To top it off, we got another question from Clovis (not his real name) who was worried that he'd either have to join the military or sell all of his internal organs to afford medical school...unless we could come up with some other options for him. CCOM debt counselor Chris Roling had some good news (not to mention advice) for him. The medical education world is humming with the news that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has reversed a long-standing prohibition against students contributing to patients' medical records. Boring? Maybe, but it's going to change how clerkships are done and the ease with which students make the transition to residency in the very near future. Do you have worries we can help sooth (or stoke)? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. We're ready to give free (and perhaps even good) advice!
February 8, 2018
In the first of a two-part answer to listener Courtney's question, Dr. Tom McNalley (MD '04) joins the gang to assure her that it is possible to be a parent of three small children while studying medicine. Also, we take personality inventories and compare the results; do we have what it takes to be in medical school?
February 1, 2018
Kylie revisits her fears of moving into the clinics--was she right to be afraid? The US's largest health insurance company is sick of their patients' bullshit. Needle exchanges may be coming to Iowa, and the work of our own Sarah Ziegenhorn, a 2nd year medical student here at Iowa and executive director of the Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition was featured on Iowa Public Radio this week. And If you're going to have a robot crawling around inside you, it'd better be cute.
January 25, 2018
During Human Rights Week at the Carver College of Medicine, we heard some hard truths from national news commentator, human rights activist, and podcaster Angela Rye. In her speech to the College of Medicine, she clued white people in on what black Americans face every day in 2017, and how Martin Luther King, Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech was just the beginning of his activism. Meanwhile, Mackenzie Walhof, Joyce Wahba, Claire Casteneda and Gabe Conley discuss the department of Health and Human Services announcement that it would be forming a department to protect doctors from having their rights infringed by requirements that they provide treatments that they don't agree with because of religion or conscience. Do doctors need that protection? Or do they self-select what they do and don't do by where they practice and what they specialize in? And with the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in the history books, Dave delivers a pop quiz to see if his co-hosts can identify real or fake health-adjacent gadgets. The march of genetic medicine continues, as the NIH has given the green light to using CRISPR to modify cancer patients' T-cells ex vivo, hoping to turn them into killers of myeloma, sarcoma, and melanoma. And Walmart is going to do its part in the fight against opioid addiction by including in prescriptions a substance that destroys leftover opioids when patients are done with them, for free. Are you ready to patent Dave's inventions? Do you think docs need to be protected by the government from their patients' needs? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
January 18, 2018
Annie wrote in to theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask Kaci McCleary, Erik Kneller, Gabriel Conley, and Marissa Evers if she should give up her 10-year job as a radiology tech so she'd have time to do research before applying to medical school. As is often the case with these kinds of questions, the answer is no! But maybe yes. In some cases. Later in the show, we say to hell with this brave new world of collaboration-not-competition, and battle to the death! Will neurotoxin triumph over infinite sausage? We discuss the recent Medscape Physician Lifestyle and Happiness Report and find out who will be happier: neurologist Kaci, or urologist Gabe. Also, we find out what they will drive, and how many friends they won't have. A Pennsylvania Democrat introduces The Stable Genius Act (tempting...). And we find out how the weather and the holidays impacts the blood supply and what the Red Cross wants you to do about it (hint: it involves giving blood now). It's coming up on application season! What questions do you have? Is our advice to Annie useful or rueful? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
January 11, 2018
The second-year students are moving from the pre-clinical curriculum to the clerkships this week. This transition is exciting--after all, seeing patients is what they've come to medical school to do, and now it's finally happening. Pat Brau, Kylie MIller, Brady Campbell, and Levi Endelman discuss some of the things they've learned in their Transition to Clerkships week, and Dave has some advice for them on how to get the most out of clerkships and how to get good evaluations for their 'dean's letter' that will make them shine for future residency directors. Of course, one thing that is helpful if you're seeing a patient is being able to tell if they're truly sick. That becomes second nature at some point, but even lay people can do it. That skill will come in handy for those in California who subscribe to the idea that raw water is a good idea. Transitions are exciting and tough...what makes changes easy or harder for you? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
January 4, 2018
Listener Arman calls back to thank us for some good advice we gave him on continuing his hobbies and interests outside medical school! Nevertheless, he notes how difficult it often is to take advice, even when we want it, and wonders if we know why? Of course we do, and Levi Endelman, Tony Rosenberg, Mark Moubarek, and Rob Humble are willing to advise him. And Samuel paints doctors with a broad brush when he writes to tell us his worries about the kinds of people who go to medical school and the sorts of things they do when they get those precious letters after their names and the prestige to go with them. The WHO and others are ready to add 'gaming disorder' to the International Classification of Diseases, to the dismay of many experts (and little ol' us). And researchers in India are taking a 2014 internet hoax to its logical conclusion and trying to decide if 'selfitis' (the obsessive taking of selfies) is a real concern, as well as how people use them to prop themselves up. Wanna show us your best duck-lips selfie? Need some advice that you won't take? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
December 28, 2017
It's winter break at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. For most people, that means there are a couple weeks to relax and rejuvenate their minds, bodies, and familial relations. Despite a lack of available co-hosts, The Short Coats never take a break, which is why Dave had to invite fellow student affairs staffers Chris Roling (Financial Services) and Kate McKenzie (Admissions) to join MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk and physician assistant student and noob co-host Paul Kretkowski on this week's show. To give Chris and Kate the full experience, we visit with the fine patients at the Yahoo! Answers Doctor's Office to hear and answer their questions on concussions, nail gun injuries and impressive DIY treatments, and the potential dangers of floor pizza. Our humble state of Iowa is home to a new effort to create nanovaccines for influenza which promise to eliminate many of the current vaccine's downsides while increasing its effectiveness. More evidence that the gut and brain are intimately linked. And the scandal of the CDC's banned words might have been a trifle overblown. Have something you want us to talk about on the show? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!
December 21, 2017
As the semester wrapped up, Dave didn't feel it was necessary to ponder great questions or debate contentious issues, so this week's show is pretty newsy...and there's never a shortage of things to talk about there. Of course, Dave had to make up a stupid game for his co-hosts Erik Kneller, Erick Schnieders, Irisa Mahaparn, and Kaci McCleary to play, in which they pimp each other on non-medical topics. Ever heard of bagel-related hand injuries? Avocados can also wreak havoc on unwary knife-wielders, which is British chain Marks & Spencer excuse for offering UK citizens seedless avocados. Significant progress has also been made in the fight against tropical illnesses as a result of the 2012 London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases. We discuss the idea that moving to Canada may solve American MDs' paperwork woes, even if the countries' respective healthcare systems each have their benefits and drawbacks. A UK surgeon decides it's cool AF to carve his initials in his patients' livers, although the patients themselves disagree. And man flu is real. Of course it is. Do you have any suggestions for future show topics? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
December 20, 2017
From an early age people are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Whether they knew it all along or discovered their career path along the way, medical students have made a commitment to the answer, “I want to be a doctor.” As soon as that answer is given, however, an equally challenging question awaits. “What kind of doctor do you want to be?” In the second episode of Night Float, Dr. Tony Chung (R1: Ophthalmology), Dr. Travis Snyders (R2: Internal Medicine), and Lisa Wehr (M4) discuss the process of choosing a specialty. Some medical students will have an ‘aha’ moment, while many others will face a timeline and search more for a ‘tipping point’ that favors a particular choice. The resident physicians share their own experiences with decision making and encourage students to explore their options through making early connections, asking questions, gaining experiences, and not being discouraged or dissuaded even when the process involves navigating unsolicited advice or looping back around. How are you going about making your choice of specialty? What questions do you have about specialty choice? In general, what would you like to hear from residents about their medical school or residency experiences? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.
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